When we borrowed a copy of this little-known, seldom-read book several months ago, we forgot to scan in the caption that accompanied Wainwright’s illustration. Now we’ve got nothing else to say about it, other than: “Good, isn’t it?” (It’s perhaps as well we forgot to scan the words in, really. We're treading on thin ice with regards to plagiarism and copyright infringement here as it is. No point in making matters worse.)
It might be a good idea, therefore, if we posted the next illustration instead.
There we go. That’s the tower of St. Michael’s church (at St. Michael’s, obviously) in the background, with St, Michael’s bridge spanning the Wyre in the foreground (on the off chance that you hadn’t realised that already). Again, we didn’t scan in the caption to accompany this picture, so how about a bit more information about A. W. himself?
Alfred Wainwright was awarded the MBE for his guidebooks (although we’ve no idea in what particular year). He also collaborated with Derry Brabbs and Ed Geldard on another eight best-selling titles, was the chairman of ‘Animal Rescue, Cumbria’, created ‘A Coast to Coast Walk’ from St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay, and after his death (obviously) had his ashes scattered on Haystacks. (That was his favourite mountain, incidentally…he didn’t actually have his ashes thrown randomly into bailed-up horse fodder.)
But enough of his background, let’s have another of his Wyre illustrations. (After all, that’s what you reading this for, isn’t it?):
“Where’s that?” you’re asking. (I have to be honest, it had me confused to start off with, as well.) That’s Bleasdale, that is, with a couple of ramblers taking their dog/pig/strange-creature-made-out-of-a-sawhorse-from-the-Wizard-of-Oz books, for a walk. (Wainwright might have been brilliant at drawing landscapes, but his figure illustrations left a lot to be desired, it must be said.)
There’s just space enough left for one last drawing, this time of Preesall. Not the view you’d expect, really. A. W. appears to have bypassed the more obvious Round House shot that makes Preesall immediately distinguishable from other Wyre villages, and opted for a rather more ordinary view at the end of Back Lane instead.
Obviously there are lots more illustrations in the book, ranging from sketches of Fleetwood to drawings of Larbreck etc. However, we’ve trodden on the toes of the Wainwright Estate for long enough now (by way of a sampler, you understand…not as a total rip off) so we’d better end by recommending to our readers that they track down and purchase the complete book, and by apologising to A.W.’s current copyright holders if we’ve over stepped their generosity.